March 13, 2014

Visiting My (Former) Home

I can already tell this weekend is going to be a strange one. It may be Thursday, and I may be flying my “usual” DFW-LGA route, but it feels like anything but normal.

(Apologies in advance for how disjointed this post will likely be, since it’s pretty rambling with all the thoughts going through my head right now.)

First of all, while I used to fly this route every week, it’s actually been a month since my last flight anywhere, which is crazy to me. I think that’s the longest I’ve gone in about eight years without getting on a plane! I’ve spent the last month sticking around Texas, and either staying in Dallas (most weekends) or driving down to Austin. It feels really weird to be flying again on a Thursday, though I have to say, I’m glad to be back to it. Thursday afternoons/evenings are often when I GSD, and I’ve definitely fallen behind on lots of blog/personal stuff as a result of finishing work on Thursday nights and then doing other, in-person things in Dallas. I missed my forced time to catch up!

Although getting on this flight has given me a Throwback Thursday-like sense of deja vu, I’m a little bit nervous about what’s to come when I land in New York. I lived there for eight years, but now have been living nowhere for two months. (Thank goodness there’s now only 9 days till my move into Denver… not that I’m counting.) I’m really excited to see the city that I called home for so long, and of course, to see the many friends that I left behind. But I also know that it’s not going to be exactly like old times when I go back.

Flywheel Hamptons
This. I miss this.

Maintaining long distance relationships is hard, which I knew well before I moved. I’ve always struggled with trying to maintain friendships in my “home”, when I call hotel rooms “home” 20-25 days a month, and I don’t think that’s ever going to get easier. Living up in the air, though, has made me feel even more distant, and a big reason for my depression the last few months has been the loss of so many of my friends. Sure, they’re still there, but it definitely changes the friendship when you become “the friend who doesn’t live here”. When I’m talking on Gchat or the phone, it’s hard for me to not be able to say “let’s talk about this in person over dinner!” or “I want to see your new haircut at brunch!” There’s just something about the in-person component of a friendship that makes it feel so much closer, and something very lonely about only communicating using the phone or computer.

It’s also very strange to feel like I have to cram everything in New York into this one weekend. Because I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately, I haven’t had a chance to make plans with all of the many people that I miss. Beyond that making me sad that I can’t see everyone, I’m worried about people feeling left out or like I don’t care to see them. My usual solution for trying to see a lot of people in a short time is to just have a come-one-come-all party, and I love getting to introduce friends from different circles to each other that way. I had intended to organize a big bash at a beer bar on Saturday night, but after a long week and not enough sleep, I decided I’m not really up to it. I’m really hoping this doesn’t mean I further damage the already tenuous friendships I have after moving.

Does this mean I think moving (essentially on a whim) was the wrong choice? No. I still think that Denver is the right city for me long-term; I think I just underestimated how hard it was going to be in the short-term to go through the process of moving. I think it was a really big mistake for me to spend the last two months traveling and/or staying in Dallas instead of just moving into Denver right away, and I’m hoping that it’s one I’ll be able to recover from.

Fortunately, this time next week, I’ll be flying to Denver and preparing to move into my new apartment. Having lived in the same exact apartment for eight years, I think it’s going to be really strange to be living somewhere else (especially somewhere so very different) and I’m hoping it won’t take too long for me to feel like I’m settling in. I’m really grateful that I already have some wonderful friends in the Denver area who are doing an amazing job going the extra mile to make me feel welcome, and of course, I’m looking forward to making new friends as well. But going home to NYC (wow, Freudian slip there shows how I really feel) this weekend is also reminding me of how much I’m giving up in the process – and that’s pretty scary.  In short, New York City isn’t going to feel like home this weekend, but it also doesn’t yet 100% feel like not-home – because I haven’t yet replaced it.

This weekend, of course I want to go to all my old haunts and pretend like everything is back to normal, but I think I also need to toast with my New York friends to the end of my time there and to new beginnings in Denver. Sure, I can move back to New York at some point in the future if Denver doesn’t work out… but I can’t stay in limbo forever and keep pretending that “it’s like I never left.” (Which is what I told my disbelieving friends when I first broke the news of the move, pointing out that I wasn’t there all that much anyway.) It is different now, and I need to start moving on and figuring out how to make everything work going forward. Like going through a breakup, if I don’t let go of New York, I know I won’t be able to fully adjust to Denver. I don’t by any means want to forget my New York friends, but I need to start figuring out how to make our relationships work without the in-person component. And, most importantly, I need to start accepting the fact that this weekend’s trip is how my visits (word choice = key) to New York City are going to be from now on.

So… hello, hotel room in New York. I’m just visiting for a few days.


3 thoughts on “Visiting My (Former) Home”

  1. Let’s just talk about this over drinks! 🙂 On Wednesday! And then many more days after that!!

    Trust me, New York will ALWAYS feel like home, but so will Denver in not too long of a time. I get super strong feelings of hometown nostalgia in New York,and Philadelphia, and even Chicago because I still have so many family & friends there, because I had a sense of home towards all of them.. And there will always be the sense that you can’t visit them enough, at least that’s how I still feel. Love them all.

    You’ll be glad you made the move, and not just because it’s Denver, but because you took a leap out of your comfort zone (plus, NYC is awesome but it’s not the right fit for feeling settled for a lot of people, including you!!) xoxo

  2. Welcome to my life and feelings each time I return. There is no way to do work in NYC AND fit in everything I want to do each time I come back. I should really, really start adding a day or two on each end to just enoy but alas that hasn’t happened. Good luck!

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